Need to improve bowling big time: Virat Kohli

Kohli added, "Australia had to earn both their victories. There was no throwing in the towel.''

Virat Kohli has smashed several batting records in this series with 692 runs in four Tests at 86.50.

Despite his individual achievements, captain Kohli’s focus was on the team’s performance after the four-Test series concluded here on Saturday.

He said, “It is always pleasing to see guys stepping up and going out there and competing in difficult situations in Test cricket. Obviously, the result hasn’t gone our way, but we have certainly played the kind of cricket we wanted to.”

Kohli added, “Australia had to earn both their victories. There was no throwing in the towel. They knew we were there all the time.”

Fighting force

The India Test captain believed the side had the potential to evolve into a fighting force. “As we gain more composure, and improve in a few areas, you will see us cashing in and actually winning Test matches going to the fifth day.”

He admitted the pace attack needed to improve. “The skill is there. You need composure and character to go out there and say, ‘I’m tired, but I need to take two wickets for my team, so I need to bowl at the same pace as my first spell.’

“That’s where character counts, when you’re tired and you’re down and your team expects you to step up. That’s something we’ve not been able to do in the last couple of years.

“At Lord’s Ishant did it for us. We need guys stepping up with more performances like that to win Test matches. Those crucial moments after tea, at the end of a day’s play, we need to strike, we have not been able to.”

He said a win was in the Indian minds here. “At a certain stage I thought we could go after the target. I thought it was worth taking that risk. You can try and see what happens and as the situation developed we pulled off a draw. Sometimes you have to take that risk.”

On K.L. Rahul opening the innings and coming good, Kohli said, “I thought it wasn’t fair for a guy who has been selected as a third opener, to make him bat at No. 6 (Dhoni was the captain in the third Test where Rahul made his debut in the middle-order). He has a certain game, and he likes to play a certain way. I wanted to make him open, honestly, because he looked confident in the nets, and he is a guy who has a lot of character.”

Flexible middle-order

Kohli said India might have a flexible middle-order, according to conditions and the situation. “Even Rohit (Sharma) at No. 3, we sat and figured out where certain batsmen needed to bat for us to have the best chance of winning Test matches. It’s all about focusing on slots. I may not be at No. 4 all the time, it depends on the interests of the team, what the team wants to achieve in a particular series.”

The India captain said it was his decision not to pick a second spinner and felt Suresh Raina, returning to Test cricket after two years, should not be judged on the basis of one match.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 3:53:14 PM |

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